1932

Abstract

Public support for legalizing marijuana use increased from 25% in 1995 to 60% in 2016, rising in lockstep with support for same-sex marriage. Between November 2012 and November 2016, voters in eight states passed ballot initiatives to legalize marijuana sales for nonmedical purposes—covering one-fifth of the US population. These changes are unprecedented but are not independent of the changes in medical marijuana laws that have occurred over the past 20 years. This article suggests five ways in which the passage and implementation of medical marijuana laws smoothed the transition to nonmedical legalization in the United States: () They demonstrated the efficacy of using voter initiatives to change marijuana supply laws, () enabled the psychological changes needed to destabilize the “war on drugs” policy stasis, () generated an evidence base that could be used to downplay concerns about nonmedical legalization, () created a visible and active marijuana industry, and () revealed that the federal government would allow state and local jurisdictions to generate tax revenue from marijuana.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-110615-084851
2017-10-13
2024-04-15
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

/deliver/fulltext/lawsocsci/13/1/annurev-lawsocsci-110615-084851.html?itemId=/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-110615-084851&mimeType=html&fmt=ahah

Literature Cited

  1. Anderson DM, Hansen B, Rees DI. 2013. Medical marijuana laws, traffic fatalities, and alcohol consumption. J. Law Econ. 56:333–69 [Google Scholar]
  2. Anderson DM, Hansen B, Rees DI. 2015. Medical marijuana laws and teen marijuana use. Am. Law Econ. Rev. 17:2495–528 [Google Scholar]
  3. Anderson DM, Rees DI, Sabia JJ. 2014. Medical marijuana laws and suicides by gender and age. Am. J. Public Health 104:122369–76 [Google Scholar]
  4. Bachhuber MA, Saloner B, Cunningham CO, Barry CL. 2014. Medical cannabis laws and opioid analgesic overdose mortality in the United States, 1999–2010. JAMA Intern. Med. 174:101668–73 [Google Scholar]
  5. Ballotpedia 2016. History of marijuana on the ballot. https://ballotpedia.org/History_of_marijuana_on_the_ballot
  6. Baude W. 2015. State regulation and the necessary and proper clause. Case West. Reserv. Law Rev. 65:1–27 [Google Scholar]
  7. Bradford AC, Bradford WD. 2016. Medical marijuana laws reduce prescription medication use in Medicare Part D. Health Aff 35:71230–36 [Google Scholar]
  8. Bradford AC, Bradford WD. 2017. Medical marijuana laws may be associated with a decline in the number of prescriptions for medical enrollees. Health Aff In press
  9. Caputi TL, Humphreys K. 2016. Medicare recipients' use of medical marijuana. Health Aff 35:101936 [Google Scholar]
  10. Caulkins JP, Kilmer B, Kleiman MAR. 2016. Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 2nd ed..
  11. Caulkins JP, Kilmer B, Kleiman MAR, MacCoun RJ, Midgette G. et al. 2015. Considering Marijuana Legalization: Insights for Vermont and Other Jurisdictions Santa Monica, CA: RAND
  12. Caulkins JP, Kilmer B, MacCoun RJ, Pacula RL, Reuter P. 2012. Design considerations for legalizing cannabis. Addiction 107:865–71 [Google Scholar]
  13. Caulkins JP, Reuter P. 2010. How drug enforcement affects drug prices. Crime Justice 39:231–71 [Google Scholar]
  14. Chemerinsky E, Forman J, Hopper A, Kamin S. 2015. Cooperative federalism and marijuana regulation. UCLA Law Rev 62:74–122 [Google Scholar]
  15. Choo EK, Benz M, Zaller N, Warren O, Rising KL, McConnell KJ. 2014. The impact of state medical marijuana legislation on adolescent marijuana use. J. Adolesc. Health 55:160–66 [Google Scholar]
  16. Cole JM. 2013. Guidance regarding marijuana enforcement Memo. U.S. Atty., U.S. Dep. Justice, Off. Deputy Atty. Gen. Washington, DC:
  17. Crombie N. 2016. Albany, Oregon City among cities that rejected pot bans. The Oregonian Nov. 9. http://www.oregonlive.com/marijuana/index.ssf/2016/11/albany_oregon_city_among_citie.html
  18. D'Amico E, Miles JN, Tucker JS. 2015. Gateway to curiosity: medical marijuana ads and intention and use during middle school. Psychol. Addict. Behav. 29:613–19 https://dx.doi.org/10.1037/adb0000094 [Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  19. d'Angour A. 2014. How many Greek legends were really true?. BBC News July 23. http://www.bbc.com/news/business-27923256
  20. Davis AJ, Geisler KR, Nichols MW. 2016. The price elasticity of marijuana demand: evidence from crowd-sourced transaction data. Empir. Econ. 50:41171–92 [Google Scholar]
  21. Dickinson T. 2013. Ethan Nadelmann: the real drug czar. Rolling Stone June 6
  22. Dills A, Goffard S, Miron J. 2016. Dose of Reality: The Effect of State Marijuana Legalizations Washington, DC: Cato Inst.
  23. Drake D. 2014. I got a weed license in minutes. The Daily Beast June 24
  24. Drug Policy Action 2016. Why Drug Policy Action Supports Prop. 64: It Protects Youth New York: Drug Policy Action https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/responsiblemarijuanareform/pages/31/attachments/original/1468260450/Drug_Policy_Action_Fact_sheet_Prop_64_Protecing_Youth.pdf?1468260450
  25. Dutton S, De Pinto J, Salvanto A, Backus F. 2014. Majority of Americans now support legal pot, poll says. CBS News Jan. 23. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/majority-of-americans-now-support-legal-pot-poll-says/
  26. Fine D. 1997. Grassroots medicine. American Prospect Sept.–Oct. http://prospect.org/article/grassroots-medicine
  27. Finney JW, Humphreys K, Harris AH. 2015. What ecologic analyses cannot tell us about medical marijuana legalization and opioid pain medication mortality. JAMA Intern. Med. 175:4655–56 [Google Scholar]
  28. Fox News. 2015. Voters weigh in on same-sex marriage, legalizing marijuana. Fox News April 23. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/interactive/2015/04/27/fox-news-poll-voters-weigh-in-on-same-sex-marriage-legalizing-marijuana/
  29. Freedlander D. 2016. Why marijuana legalization campaigns could fail in 2016. Vice Aug. 18. http://www.vice.com/read/why-marijuana-legalization-campaigns-could-fail-in-2016
  30. Gallet CA. 2014. Can price get the monkey off our back? A meta-analysis of illicit drug demand. Health Econ 23:55–68 [Google Scholar]
  31. Gallup Poll. 2016a. American's support for gay marriage remains high, at 61%. http://www.gallup.com/poll/191645/americans-support-gay-marriage-remains-high.aspx
  32. Gallup Poll. 2016b. Support for legal marijuana use up to 60% in U.S.. http://www.gallup.com/poll/196550/support-legal-marijuana.aspx
  33. Galston WA, Dionne EJ Jr.. 2013. The new politics of marijuana legalization: why opinion is changing. Brookings Report May 29
  34. Gieringer D. 2012. The Origins of Cannabis Prohibition in California New York: Fed. Legal Publ http://canorml.org/background/Origins_MJ_Proh_2012.pdf
  35. Gorman DM, Huber JC. 2007. Do medical cannabis laws encourage cannabis use?. Int. J. Drug Policy 18:3160–67 [Google Scholar]
  36. Grinspoon L, Bakalar JB. 1993. Cannabis as a medicine. Marihuana: The Forbidden Medicine67–81 New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  37. Grucza RA, Hur MA, Agrawal A, Krauss MJ, Plunk AD. et al. 2015. Medical marijuana laws and suicide. Am. J. Public Health 105:e3 [Google Scholar]
  38. Guttmannova K, Lee CM, Kilmer JR, Fleming CB, Rhew IC. et al. 2016. Impacts of changing marijuana policies on alcohol use in the United States. Alcohol. Clin. Exp. Res. 40:33–46 [Google Scholar]
  39. Hall W. 2015. What has research over the past two decades revealed about the adverse health effects of recreational cannabis use?. Addiction 110:119–35 [Google Scholar]
  40. Hall W, Lynskey M. 2016. Why it is probably too soon to assess the public health effects of legalisation of recreational cannabis use in the USA. Lancet Psychiatry 3:900–6 [Google Scholar]
  41. Harper S, Strumpf EC, Kaufman JS. 2012. Do medical marijuana laws increase marijuana use? Replication study and extension. Ann. Epidemiol. 22:207–12 [Google Scholar]
  42. Hasin DS, Wall M, Keyes KM, Cerdá M, Schulenberg J. et al. 2015. Medical marijuana laws and adolescent marijuana use in the USA from 1991 to 2014: results from annual, repeated cross-sectional surveys. Lancet Psychiatry 2:7601–8 [Google Scholar]
  43. Henchman J, Scarboro M. 2016. Marijuana legalization and taxes: lessons for other states from Colorado and Washington Spec. Rep., Tax Found. Washington, DC: https://taxfoundation.org/marijuana-taxes-lessons-colorado-washington/
  44. High Times. 2016. How to get a medical marijuana card for 2017. High Times Oct. 26. http://hightimes.com/medicinal/how-to-get-a-medical-marijuana-card/
  45. Hill KP. 2015. Medical marijuana for treatment of chronic pain and other medical and psychiatric problems: a clinical review. JAMA 313:242474–83 [Google Scholar]
  46. Johnson J, Hodgkin D, Harris SK. 2017. The design of medical marijuana laws and adolescent use and heavy use of marijuana: analysis of 45 states from 1991 to 2011. Drug Alcohol Depend 170:1–8 [Google Scholar]
  47. Joy JE, Watson SJ Jr., Benson JA Jr.. 1999. Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base Washington, DC: Natl. Acad. Press
  48. Keyes KM, Wall M, Cerdá M, Schulenberg J, O'Malley PM. et al. 2016. How does state marijuana policy affect US youth? Medical marijuana laws, marijuana use and perceived harmfulness: 1991–2014. Addiction 111:122187–95 [Google Scholar]
  49. Khatapoush S, Hallfors D. 2004. “Sending the wrong message”: Did medical marijuana legalization in California change attitudes about and use of marijuana?. J. Drug Issues 34:4751–70 [Google Scholar]
  50. Kilmer B, Caulkins JP, Midgette G, Dahlkemper L, MacCoun RJ, Pacula RL. 2013. Before the Grand Opening: Measuring Washington State's Marijuana Market in the Last Year before Legalized Commercial Sales Santa Monica, CA: RAND
  51. Kilmer B, Caulkins JP, Pacula RL, MacCoun RJ, Reuter PH. 2010. Altered state? Assessing how marijuana legalization in California could influence marijuana consumption and public budgets Occas. Pap. RAND Drug Policy Res. Cent. Santa Monica, CA:
  52. Kilmer B, Pacula RL. 2016. Understanding and learning from the diversification of cannabis supply laws. Addiction 112:71128–35 [Google Scholar]
  53. Kim JH, Santaella-Tenorio J, Mauro C, Wrobel J, Cerdá M. et al. 2016. State medical marijuana laws and the prevalence of opioids detected among fatally injured drivers. Am. J. Public Health 106:112032–37 [Google Scholar]
  54. Lane C. 2009. “Medical marijuana” is a Trojan horse. Washington Post Oct. 22. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2009/10/medical_marijuana_is_a_trojan.html
  55. Levine D. 1998. High on a lie. Reader's Digest April
  56. Lynne-Landsman SD, Livingston MD, Wagenaar AC. 2013. Effects of state medical marijuana laws on adolescent marijuana use. Am. J. Public Health 103:81500–6 [Google Scholar]
  57. MacCoun RJ. 1993. Drugs and the law: a psychological analysis of drug prohibition. Psychol. Bull. 113:497–512 [Google Scholar]
  58. MacCoun RJ. 2011. What can we learn from the Dutch cannabis coffeeshop system. Addiction 106:1899–910 [Google Scholar]
  59. MacCoun RJ. 2013. The paths not (yet) taken: lower risk alternatives to full market legalization of cannabis. Something's in the Air: Race and the Legalization of Marijuana K Tate, JL Taylor, MQ Sawyer 40–53 Abingdon, UK: Routledge [Google Scholar]
  60. MacCoun R, Pacula RL, Reuter P, Chriqui J, Harris K. 2009. Do citizens know whether they live in a decriminalization state? State marijuana laws and perceptions. Rev. Law Econ. 5:1347–71 [Google Scholar]
  61. MacCoun R, Reuter P. 1997. Interpreting Dutch cannabis policy: reasoning by analogy in the legalization debate. Science 278:47–52 [Google Scholar]
  62. MacCoun R, Reuter P. 2001. Drug War Heresies: Learning from Other Vices, Times, and Places Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press
  63. MacCoun RJ, Reuter P. 2011. Assessing drug prohibition and its alternatives: a guide for agnostics. Annu. Rev. Law Soc. Sci. 7:61–78 [Google Scholar]
  64. MacCoun R, Reuter P, Schelling T. 1996. Assessing alternative drug control regimes. J. Policy Anal. Manag. 15:1–23 [Google Scholar]
  65. Martins SS, Mauro CM, Santaella-Tenorio J, Kim JH, Cerdá M. et al. 2016. State-level medical marijuana laws, marijuana use and perceived availability of marijuana among the general US population. Drug Alcohol Depend 169:26–32 [Google Scholar]
  66. McGreevy P. 2016. The push to legalize pot for all has deeply divided the medical marijuana community. Los Angeles Times Oct. 4. http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-proposition-64-recreational-pot-opponents-20161004-snap-story.html
  67. McKinney M. 2013. 80% of people who apply for medical marijuana don't have qualifying ailments, Patrick Kennedy says. Politifact.com Feb. 3. http://www.politifact.com/rhode-island/statements/2013/feb/03/patrick-kennedy/former-us-rep-patrick-kennedy-says-80-percent-peop/
  68. Mikos RA. 2013. Preemption under the Controlled Substances Act. J. Health Care Law Policy 16:101–34 [Google Scholar]
  69. Nielsen AL. 2010. Americans' attitudes toward drug-related issues from 1975–2006: the roles of period and cohort effects. J. Drug Issues 40:461–93 [Google Scholar]
  70. Nunberg H, Kilmer B, Pacula RL, Burgdorf JR. 2011. An analysis of applicants presenting to a medical marijuana specialty practice in California. J. Drug Policy Anal. 4:1–16 [Google Scholar]
  71. O'Brien PK. 2013. Medical marijuana and social control: escaping criminalization and embracing medicalization. Deviant Behav 34:423–43 doi:10.1080/01639625.2012.735608 [Google Scholar]
  72. Oglesby P. 2017. Colorado marijuana taxes keep dropping. Center for New Revenue June 20. https://newrevenue.org/2017/06/20/colorado-marijuana-taxes-keep-dropping/
  73. Onishi N. 2012. Marijuana only for the sick? A farce, some Angelenos say. New York Times Oct. 7
  74. O'Shaughnessy WB. 1843. On the cannabis indica or Indian hemp. Pharmacol. J. 2:594 [Google Scholar]
  75. Pacula RL, Lundberg R. 2014. Why changes in price matter when thinking about marijuana policy: a review of the literature on the elasticity of demand. Public Health Rev 35:1–18 [Google Scholar]
  76. Pacula RL, Powell D, Heaton P, Sevigny EL. 2015. Assessing the effects of medical marijuana laws on marijuana use: The devil is in the details. J. Policy Anal. Manag. 34:17–31 [Google Scholar]
  77. Pacula RL, Sevigny EL. 2014. Marijuana liberalization policies: why we can't learn much from policy still in motion. J. Policy Anal. Manag. 34:1212–21 [Google Scholar]
  78. Pacula R, Smart R. 2017. Effects of changes in marijuana laws on marijuana use and disorders: medical marijuana and marijuana legalization. Annu. Rev. Clin. Psychol. 13:397–419 [Google Scholar]
  79. Passkik S, Tickoo S. 2010. Medical marijuana is a Trojan horse that pain physicians should refuse to accept. OncLive March 2. http://www.onclive.com/publications/obtn/2011/january-2011/medical-marijuana-is-a-trojan-horse-that-pain-physicians-should-refuse-to-accept
  80. Pew Res. Cent. 2010. Broad public support for legalizing medical marijuana: modest rise in percentage favoring general legalization. Pew Res. Cent. April 1
  81. Powell D, Pacula RL, Jacobson M. 2015. Do medical marijuana laws reduce addictions and deaths related to pain killers? Work. Pap. No. w21345 Natl. Bur. Econ. Res. Cambridge, MA:
  82. Read SJ, Vanman EJ, Miller LC. 1997. Connectionism, parallel constraint satisfaction processes, and gestalt principles: (re)introducing cognitive dynamics to social psychology. Personal. Soc. Psychol. Rev. 1:26–53 [Google Scholar]
  83. Reiman A. 2007. Medical cannabis patients: patient profiles and health care utilization patterns. Complement. Health Pract. Rev. 12:31–50 [Google Scholar]
  84. Reinarman C, Nunberg H, Lanthier F, Heddleston T. 2011. Who are medical marijuana patients? Population characteristics from nine California assessment clinics. J. Psychoact. Drugs 43:128–35 [Google Scholar]
  85. Reuter P. 1992. Hawks ascendant: the punitive trend of American drug policy. Daedalus 121:15–52 [Google Scholar]
  86. Reuter P, Kleiman MAR. 1986. Risks and prices: an economic analysis of drug enforcement. Crime Justice 7:289–340 [Google Scholar]
  87. Robbennolt JK, Darley JM, MacCoun RJ. 2003. Symbolism and incommensurability in civil sanctioning: decision-makers as goal managers. Symposium on “Responsibility and blame: Psychological and legal perspectives.”. Brooklyn Law Rev 68:1121–58 [Google Scholar]
  88. Rocky Mt. High Intensity Drug Traffick. Area. 2016. Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact 4 Denver: Rocky Mt. High Intensity Drug Traffick. Area http://www.rmhidta.org/html/2016%20FINAL%20Legalization%20of%20Marijuana%20in%20Colorado%20The%20Impact.pdf
  89. Rokeach M. 1973. The Nature of Human Values New York: Free
  90. Rosin H. 1997. The return of pot: California gears up for a long, strange trip. New Republic Feb.
  91. Rylander M, Valdez C, Nussbaum AM. 2014. Does the legalization of medical marijuana increase completed suicide?. Am. J. Drug Alcohol Abuse 40:4269–73 [Google Scholar]
  92. Sabia JJ, Swigert J, Young T. 2015. The effect of medical marijuana laws on body weight. Health Econ 26:6–34 [Google Scholar]
  93. Schuermeyer J, Salomonsen-Sautel S, Price RK, Balan S, Thurstone C. et al. 2014. Temporal trends in marijuana attitudes, availability and use in Colorado compared to non-medical marijuana states: 2003–11. Drug Alcohol Depend 140:145–55 [Google Scholar]
  94. Schwartz SH. 1992. Universals in the content and structure of values: theoretical advances and empirical tests in 20 countries. Adv. Exp. Psychol. 25:1–65 [Google Scholar]
  95. Simon D. 2004. A third view of the black box: cognitive coherence in legal decision making. Univ. Chic. Law Rev. 71:511–86 [Google Scholar]
  96. Smart R. 2015. The kids aren't alright but older adults are just fine: effects of medical marijuana market growth on substance use and abuse Work. Pap. RAND Corp. Santa Monica, CA: SSRN 2574915
  97. Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) 2015. Lessons after two years of legalization Short Rep., SAM Alexandria, VA: https://learnaboutsam.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/FINAL-REPORT-1.pdf
  98. Staggs B. 2016. These proposed local marijuana laws are just as crucial as the statewide vote in November. Orange County Register Sept. 8. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/marijuana-728305-tax-local.html
  99. Stogner JM, Sanders A, Miller BL. 2014. Deception for drugs: self-reported “doctor shopping” among young adults. J. Am. Board Fam. Med. 27:583–93 [Google Scholar]
  100. Stolzenberg L, D'Alessio SJ, Dariano D. 2016. The effect of medical cannabis laws on juvenile cannabis use. Int. J. Drug Policy 27:82–88 [Google Scholar]
  101. Subritzky T, Pettigrew S, Lenton S. 2016. Issues in the implementation and evolution of the commercial recreational cannabis market in Colorado. Int. J. Drug Policy 27:1–12 [Google Scholar]
  102. Sullum J. 2011. How many medical marijuana patients are fakers? Does it matter?. Hit & Run Blog Aug. 5. http://reason.com/blog/2011/08/05/how-many-medical-marijuana-pat
  103. Tetlock PE, Peterson RS, Lerner JS. 1996. Revisiting the value pluralism model: incorporating social content and context postulates. The Psychology of Values: The Ontario Symposium 8 C Seligman, JM Olson, MP Zanna 25–51 Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc. [Google Scholar]
  104. Thagard P, Verbeurght K. 1998. Coherence as constraint satisfaction. Cogn. Sci. 22:1–24 [Google Scholar]
  105. Treaster JB. 1993. Healing herb or narcotic? Marijuana as medication; underground networks supplying the sick. New York Times Nov. 14
  106. Twenge JM, Carter NT, Campbell WK. 2015. Time period, generational, and age differences in tolerance for controversial beliefs and lifestyles in the United States, 1972–2012. Soc. Forces 94:1379–99 [Google Scholar]
  107. Volkow ND, Baler RD, Compton WM, Weiss SR. 2014. Adverse health effects of marijuana use. N. Engl. J. Med. 370:232219–27 [Google Scholar]
  108. Wall MM, Mauro C, Hasin DS, Keyes KM, Cerdá M. et al. 2016. Prevalence of marijuana use does not differentially increase among youth after states pass medical marijuana laws: commentary on and reanalysis of US National Survey on Drug Use in Households data 2002–2011. Int. J. Drug Policy 29:9–13 [Google Scholar]
  109. Wall MM, Poh E, Cerdá M, Keyes KM, Galea S, Hasin DS. 2012. Commentary on Harper S, Strumpf EC, Kaufman JS. Do medical marijuana laws increase marijuana use? Replication study and extension. Ann. Epidemiol. 222012:536–37 [Google Scholar]
  110. Wen H, Hockenberry JM, Cummings JR. 2015. The effect of medical marijuana laws on adolescent and adult use of marijuana, alcohol, and other substances. Health Econ 42:64–80 [Google Scholar]
  111. Whiting PF, Wolff RF, Deshpande S, Di Nisio M, Duffy S. et al. 2015. Cannabinoids for medical use: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA 313:242456–73 [Google Scholar]
  112. Yes on 4. 2016. Facts Boston: Yes on 4 https://www.regulatemassachusetts.org/facts/#opioids
/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-110615-084851
Loading
/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-110615-084851
Loading

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error